(WXYZ) — A Detroit man is accused of setting fire to a popular Dearborn supermarket last weekend, then leading police on a lengthy pursuit. The whole incident was captured on video. Thankfully, there were no injuries and the market has remained open.
On Tuesday, a detective called the accused arsonist both a danger to himself and others after he allegedly set fire to the Dearborn Fresh Supermarket.
Appearing inside a Dearborn district courtroom, 28-year-old Marcus Flowers is accused of setting fire to the supermarket on Sunday. Police say the crime came just one day after an initial arson attempt Saturday that Flowers was not charged in.
"Our investigation hasn’t revealed any ideological or political motive. The overriding factor is mental illness," said Dearborn Police Chief Issa Shahin.
Standing silent in court, Flowers listened as a defense attorney argued for reduced bond.
"The only thing on his record is a traffic offense. He does have a child on the way and family in the courtroom,” said his attorney.
Police say surveillance video, along with dash and body camera footage, show flames set by Flowers burning, before him running from undercover units after they spotted him at the store on Michigan and Schaefer.
Detective Mark Bilski asked the court to factor in public safety and a report claiming Flowers told police he didn’t know why he started a fire.
"While Mr. Flowers has no violent history, having talked with him for a period of time yesterday, I do believe that without supervision he’s a danger to society and himself," said Detective Bilski.
Charged with arson and fleeing and eluding, Flowers could be ordered to undergo a competency evaluation.
"The City of Dearborn has its first public health director that’s going to be looking at the mental health crisis. These people can be dangerous at times but also need help," said Chief Shahin.
So far, Judge Gene Hunt has decided on a high bond as Flowers awaits his next court date from inside jail.
Flowers is back in court on the 20th at 8 a.m. for a probable cause conference, and we’ll bring you the latest developments as they happen.